Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 751–767 | Cite as

Irradiation Applications in Dairy Products: a Review

  • Oluwakemi B. Odueke
  • Karim W. FaragEmail author
  • Richard N. Baines
  • Stephen A. Chadd


The demand for raw and fresh dairy products with the desired organoleptic characteristics and health benefits led to research in non-thermal processing technologies aiming to retain all the product qualities and nutrients. Irradiation is an emerging non-thermal technology used in destroying micro- and macroorganisms that might exist in food by exposure to either gamma (γ) rays from radioactive isotopes (cobalt60 or caesium137) or an electron accelerator (electron beam or X-radiation) under a controlled environment. With the endorsement of many international food and health organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), irradiation is becoming more widely researched as a process to maintain quality, improve safety and reduce quarantine and post-harvest loss. Irradiation has the potential for allergenicity reduction and the provision of a sterile diet for immunocompromised patients. Unlike other food categories, the use of irradiation as a preservative technique on dairy products has received little attention due to the complexity of the product varieties. Whilst being accepted in some countries, the adoption of irradiation as an alternative measure of treating and preventing potential problems in the food chain faces strict opposition in many countries. In this review, the focus is on the radiation processing as an emerging technology and its specific application on dairy products.


Food irradiation Dairy Food safety Allergenicity Non-thermal preservation 



The authors wish to acknowledge the great support received from all the team at Synergy Health Swindon in the UK, now part of STERIS for giving us access and for allowing us to conduct the experiments during a busy time schedule.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oluwakemi B. Odueke
    • 1
  • Karim W. Farag
    • 2
    Email author
  • Richard N. Baines
    • 1
  • Stephen A. Chadd
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Food and EnvironmentRoyal Agricultural UniversityCirencesterUK
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and Agri-Food Supply Chain ManagementHarper Adams UniversityNewportUK

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